‘We all agreed this brilliant book is a wonder and will enrich all who read it.’
Manjeet Mann has won the 2021 Costa Children’s Book Award for The Crossing described by the judges as ‘brilliant’ and ‘a book to enrich all who read it.’ Written in verse, with a powerful dual narrative, the book is a profound story of hope, grief, and the very real tragedies of the refugee crisis. In an interview with Charlotte Hacking for Books for Keeps, she describes the toll that writing and researching the book took on her, but her hope that it will change minds.
Manjeet was selected for the WriteNow programme at Penguin Random House, an award-winning mentorship programme which aims to find, nurture and publish new writers from communities under-represented on the nation’s bookshelves. Through the programme, Manjeet produced her debut novel Run, Rebel which won the Carnegie Shadower’s Choice Award, the Diverse Book Award, the UKLA Book Award and the Sheffield Children’s Book Award. The Crossing is her second novel and has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal. Her debut picture book, Small’s Big Dream, will be published in April 2022.
Almost 200 books were submitted for the 2021 Costa Children’s Book Award. Also shortlisted were
As winner, Mann receives £5,000, while The Crossing is now eligible for the ultimate prize – the 2021 Costa Book of the Year, winner to be announced on 5 February 2022.
The judges for Costa Children’s Book Award were Gill Edwards, who runs the Little Ripon Bookshop, author Smriti Halls and school librarian and podcaster, Lucas Maxwell.
The Costa Book Awards is the only major UK book prize open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland and uniquely recognises some of the most enjoyable books across five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book – published in the last year. 2021 marks the 50th year of the Awards. Originally established in 1971, Costa Coffee has been running this prestigious book prize since 2006.